National Archives Blog Post 1- Cassie Haynes

At the National Archives I came across a few interesting pieces of documentation. I found a few files that were on the exclusion and detainment of East Indian crew members. File 55179-40 talks about the detainment of a crew aboard a British steamer. This crew was detained at the port of Norfolk, Virginia and held on bond. The bond for the 21 members cost 10,500 since they were left at the port while their vessel moved on to the next port. They were eventually picked up by their ship and returned to England causing the bond to be canceled.  Another file 55179-41 also talked about crew members who left their ship and were picked up, 20 of them left the ship and four others deserted the ship. They were jailed until they could be put on a ship sent to England and the bond was also canceled for this group. These two files bring up the point that those who are on a ship are not able to leave it without being detained. It seems however, to mostly be associated with those of Asian descent as all these men were.

There were also other documents that were exclusion records and many people were denied entry because they were listed as L.P.C.’s. Those who were denied were either women who came by themselves or were young boys who entered the country under the age of 16. Finally, I looked at certificates that were on border crossings. Most of the crossing certificates dealt with those who worked for businesses and needed to go into Canada for work.

  1. File 55149-40, Subject and Policy files, 1893-1957, Records of Immigration and naturalization Services, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC).
  2. File 55149-41, Subject and Policy files, 1893-1957, Records of Immigration and naturalization Services, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC).

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